PHL joins international movie-making tilt in Seoul

SEOUL - Members of the Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea (PIKO) joined the Seoul leg of the international filmmaking competition 48 Hour Film Project.

The Philippine team participating in the 48 Hour Film Project The event, which already graced over 120 cities around the world since 2001, challenges both amateur and professional filmmakers to conceptualize, shoot, edit, and score a film running for a maximum of seven minutes—in just a span of 48 hours.

Specific movie requirements such as a character, a prop, a line of dialogue, and a genre, were given at the start of the competition. After 48 hours, all films were to be submitted to the official drop-off point for judging and screening.

Aside from the $5,000 cash prize, the city winner also has a chance to have their entry screened in the Short Film Corner of the 2013 Cannes Festival.

Seoul City producer Joseph Kim shared: “This event is going to be for the expat community and for the Korean community so they can network together and have a chance to make something new, because I feel that in Korea, there’s a barrier between diversity.”

Kim, a former 48 Hour Film Project participant, felt the huge importance of merging Korean film enthusiasts with the expat community: “Films here are either made by Korean, for Koreans, or by expats, for expats. So, being a Korean-American, I had issues with that. I feel that this is a perfect opportunity for everyone to create something new rather than the typical Hollywood or hybrid-Korean-Hollywood type of film.”

“To be honest, even if you are a pro, to make a movie in just 48 hours is challenging. It tests your skills to a different level. You have to be able to execute it in such a limited time and there will always be problems. But it can be done. I know it can be done,” he added.

First time for PHL

Now on its third year, the Seoul leg of the 48 Hour Film Project kicked off last October and had 59 teams, including that of the Philippines, in its official register.

It was the first time a Philippine contingent joined the competition.

Among the Philippine team’s members are actress Cherish Maningat, a professional musical theater actress in Korea, and students from non-film courses.

“Usually, when you say Filipino scholars in Korea, the activities are always about Social Science and Natural Sciences. Few people engage in arts,” said Eva Marie Wang, team leader for the Philippine team and president of PIKO. “We thought that it was just an idea. Siguro marami pang mas professional sa amin, but I believe it is a good learning experience for everyone, not just for the film or art majors but for non-art majors alike.”

Since the team was composed mainly of Filipino scholars in South Korea, raising funds for the 250,000-won registration fee was a major concern. “The challenge was basically the resources, but thank God a lot of people believed in us and helped us. If you have a good advocacy, you will find a way,” Wang said.

As soon as the competition kicked off last October 19, the whole team spent most of the official time working on the main plot of the story, which was about detectives or cops. They also had to consider the film requirements such as the light bulb as prop and the line: “No one can ever persuade me to give up.”

“It’s a collaborative work, and you can see different ideas. Usually what we see in a movie is the output, but when you jump into the process, there are many things you will find out. Even if a scene will just appear for two seconds there is a lot of effort required to complete it,” Wang said.

The Philippine team’s entry, entitled “Andap” or “The Flickering,” is about the mysterious killing of an office worker, Jin Young Choi. Throughout the whole investigation, a child with autism plays as silent witness to the truth.

Screening

Meanwhile, at the end of the 48-hour deadline on October 21, only 43 teams were able to make it to the 7:30 p.m. cut. These teams then became eligible to compete for the prize of Seoul City winner.

The Philippine entry, “Andap (The Flickering),” was among the 54 short film entries from Seoul that screened at the Dongdaemun Megabox on November 2.

“It’s a leap of faith for all of us, even before it started. I think it’s a good opportunity for us to discover the different talents of people who are part of our organization,” Wang said. “Seeing the materials now, it makes you feel, if I did not join, we’re not experiencing this kind of community. I think this experience with 48 Hour Film Project is something you can share to your family and friends, that you can tell them we did this crazy weekend project, especially to our non-arts major members. It is a shared accomplishment.”

On November 9, the 48 Hour Film Project – Seoul will hold its Best of Screening and Wrap Party at the Dongdaemun Megabox. –KG, GMA News

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